Government is ‘working on options’ for boosting Bradford’s rail services

New rail minister Huw Merriman said the Government is “working on our options” for improving train services at Bradford.

Plans for a high-speed railway station in the West Yorkshire city were dashed when the Department for Transport published its Integrated Rail Plan (IRP) last November.

The IRP also confirmed that HS2’s eastern leg would not be extended from the East Midlands to Leeds.

Speaking at the Railway Industry Association’s annual conference in London, Mr Merriman said: “We’re committed to the Integrated Rail Plan.

“We’re also committed to seeing how we can take trains further to Leeds.

“I can tell you I have a personal connection to Bradford and the Prime Minister himself over the summer said that we are working on our options to make an assessment of what can be done with Bradford.

“That’s work that the Department (for Transport) is doing.”

On HS2 services at Leeds, Mr Merriman said: “We are looking at what can be done.

“That money has been committed, a £100 million study, and then we’ve also got the commitment to assess options for Bradford.

“I’m keen that we progress that because I’m passionate about delivering better services to connect our cities together.

“Bradford is a good example. It’s our youngest city (in terms of average age). It’s our sixth largest city (in terms of population).

“I really want to see the regeneration in Bradford.”

While in No 10, Liz Truss backed a full-fat vision for Northern Powerhouse Rail (NPR) between Liverpool and Hull, pledging that expanded plans would include a stop at a new station in Bradford.

But Business Secretary Grant Shapps hinted NPR would be scaled back under new Prime Minister Rishi Sunak.